Economic Development, Real Estate, and Sustainability

$22M affordable housing project opens downtown

November 5, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Klingman Lofts affordable housing apartment
A look inside an apartment at the four-story Klingman Lofts, an 83 unit affordable housing apartment building in downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy Rockford Construction

A former furniture factory’s transformation is finished.

Ann Arbor-based developer LC Companies and Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction held a ribbon cutting last week for the 118-year-old Klingman Building in downtown Grand Rapids, at 400 Ionia Ave. SW.

Klingman Lofts is the result of a $22-million renovation, resulting in 83 affordable housing apartments on four floors in the 112,000-square-foot building. It also includes 15,000 square feet of retail.

The project began in the spring of 2014. Nearby, the two companies helped transform the Baker Furniture Building into 87 residential units in 2013.

Funding for the project was through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, Chase Bank and RBC Royal Bank.

Architecture and interior design work was by done Gary Breen with ConceptDesign in Grand Rapids.

"Special attention"

“We are excited to build affordable housing so close to the city’s central business district,” said Mike Jacobson, president, LC Companies. “We have found a unique niche in the city and have been working to fill it. When you put this need together with the opportunity to preserve Grand Rapids’ past, it creates a synergy by establishing an affordable option with the opportunity to live within walking distance of the city’s most-popular attractions.”

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority awarded LC Companies with tax credits to restore the building and bring affordable residential living to the south side of Grand Rapids’ Heartside District.

Historical credits were also awarded as the building had been deteriorating, despite being named a Historic Landmark by the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

Klingman Lofts is also in the process of being LEED certified for sustainability.

“The transformation of this building is nothing short of incredible,” Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said. “It needed special attention and a commitment by a willing developer who cared about preserving the building for future generations. We are excited to have affordable residential living only a couple of blocks from the city’s arena and entertainment district and steps away from the Downtown Market.”


The lofts are full, and there is a waiting list.

The apartments in Klingman Lofts are one bedroom — 643 to 753 square feet — and two bedroom — 812 to 1,122 square feet.

Rent ranges from $469 to $815 dollars for residents who qualify for the affordable housing, which is eligible to potential residents making up to 40 to 60 percent of the county’s median income. Applicants must make 2 to 2.5 times the rent, with good rental history and must pass background and credit checks.

Rent is based on the two income limits.

For one person making the 60 percent limit, or $26,280, the rent for a one-bedroom unit would be $680 a month. For a person making the 40 percent limit, or $17,520, rent for a one-bedroom unit would be $469.

The households may not be made up of full-time students. 

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